When there are queues of people outside the door, you know you’re onto a winner. Eden Noodles Café is one of these winners, and there was no mistaking why everyone was waiting so patiently for a table on this particular Friday evening, with such an allure of authentic Chinese flavours seeping through the open doors and along Dominion Road.
Once inside the setting is fresh, white, and pristine, the service first-class. The warm front-of-house manager was patient and obliging amidst our bumbling through various menu selections, and gently offered her opinions to make sure we were in line to receive the best and most suitable meal possible.
You’d be a fool to miss out on the dumplings (pork with chives, of course), whether you’re brave enough to make things more exciting with spicy or chilli sauce, or going conservatively sauceless. These little parcels are packed with a delectable punch of flavours, and melt delicately in your mouth just as any good dumpling should.
Through the rest of the menu, things are less clear cut. With any authentic cuisine, tastes and textures are not what you’re used to, so unless you are looking for a gastronomical adventure, be wary with your choices.
For those of you like me, relatively habitual when it comes to food but partial to a fantastic noodle bowl, the noodles with shredded chicken in soup are a safe but superb choice. The chicken broth is delightful, and hints of coriander infuse the bowl with a fresh and tangy flavour.
For the thrill-seekers, the menu extends to options from noodles with ox tripe in soup, to braised pork intestines on rice and Chinese pita bread with mixed turnip. Highly acquired tastes perhaps, but cooked with the passion and local expertise you should expect.
There are several vegetarian options, which do not seem to be there simply as token dishes to increase the restaurant’s target market, rather as genuine additions to a well-rounded menu.
So don’t find yourself lost along the wild and confusing depths of Dominion Road the next time you are looking for a mouthwatering and affordable meal, Eden Noodles Café is a vivacious gem just waiting to be savoured.
Words: Harriet Keown
Eden Noodles Café
09 630 1899
105 Dominion Rd, Mount Eden
Tues-Sun 11AM–9:30PM | Closed Monday